2019 March Madness: Top NCAA Shooters to Watch

With the 2019 NCAA Tournament soon, we’re giving you a guide of the top shooters to keep on your radar. It’s been said that defense wins games, but stellar offenses, record-breaking shooting percentages and buzzer beaters are constantly challenging this idea. As basketball increasingly becomes a shooter’s game, here is a look at this year’s top shooters who we predict will be key difference-makers in this year’s tournament.

  • Zion Williamson is appropriately credited for being Duke’s all-star freshman, averaging 22.1 PPG. Rumored to be the next Lebron James, he tore through his Nike’s in the North Carolina match-up and dented a basketball with his fingers during the February game against Louisville. But Duke gets by with a lot of help from another freshman, RJ Barrett, who has averaged 22.9 PPG leading up to the tournament and kept the team on top when Williamson was out for five games.

  • You can count on North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson to make almost half of his shot attempts, as the senior guard averages 50.9% from the field and an impressive 47% from the deep field.

  • One of 24 Noah Basketball teams who earned their spot in the 2019 tournament is Virginia. The Cavaliers perform at 41% from the 3-point line and rally around an evenly skilled trio, Kyle Guy (15.9 PPG), De’Andre Hunter (15.1 PPG) and Ty Jerome (13.0 PPG).

  • Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke make an impressive pair for 1-seeded Gonzaga, scoring 20.1 PPG and 16.5 PPG, respectively. Hachimura adds a dynamic element to his game with a healthy mix of slam-dunks and deep 3’s, making 60.9% of his attempts from the field.

  • Michigan is another team who’s scoring is evenly distributed amongst its players. Ignas Brazdeikis (15 PPG, 46.9%), Charles Matthews (12.5 PPG, 42.6%) and Jordan Poole (12.9 PPG, 43.9%) are all major assets for the 2-seeded team heading into tournament play.

  • Cassius Winston leads Big-10 Champions, Michigan State, averaging 18.9 PPG. The Spartans were forced to showcase their depth after losing two-star players (Joshua Langford and Nick Ward) to injuries in the regular season.

  • Tennessee power forward and back-to-back SEC Player of the Year, Grant Williams, and Kansas All-American, Dedric Lawson, both average 19.2 PPG. Each belongs to a No. 2 and 4 seeded teams, respectively. Lawson had to step up after Jayhawk’s best shooter Lagerald Vick took a leave of absence that extended through the rest of the season.

  • The Purdue Boilermakers led the Big-10 in 3-point shooting, carried by junior guard Carsen Edwards who scores 23.5 PPG on average. Another high-scorer to watch in the tournament is Sam Merrill (21.5 PPG) who belongs to the Utah State Aggies, a No. 8 “sleeper team you should watch,” according to ESPN.

  • Myles Powell (22.9 PPG) and Jordan Ford (21.3 PPG)  are leaders for two underdog teams - the No. 10 Seton Hall Pirates and No. 11 St. Mary’s Gaels. Powell has propelled the Pirates to victories over No. 2 Kentucky, No. 6 Villanova and No. 5 Marquette. While St. Mary’s Gaels may not have been on your radar or at the top of headlines, the team has had one of the nation’s most explosive offenses (top 20, according to ESPN Sports Analytics).

  • Sitting with a No. 5 seed, Marquette possesses a fascinating squad. The Hauser brothers, Sam (39.5%) and Joey (44.4%), demonstrate strong chemistry from playing together for so long, which likely contributes to their impressive percentages from the deep field. Markus Howard, the junior guard who can’t always tell the Hauser brothers apart and #6 offensive player in the nation, contributes 25.1 PPG.

  • Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech) and CJ Massinburg (Buffalo) have both led their teams to victories during the regular season. Massinburg (18.3 PPG, 46.4%) put up a career-high 43 points in a win over West Virginia. Robinson, assuming he returns in time for the tournament after an injury that caused him to miss the last 12 games, should contribute significantly to his team’s scoring. The Hokies shot 42.2% from the 3 when Robinson was available, and only 36.4% when he was not.

  • Last, but certainly not least, on your radar: Ja Morant. Morant belongs to a No. 12 seed, Murray State and has one of the most impressive stat lines in NCAA history – 24.6 PPG, 10.0 APG, 1.8 SPG, and 81% from the free-throw line. ESPN credits Morant as the reason Murray State has made more than 57% of its shots inside the arc and hasn’t lost a game since January 31.

The 2019 NCAA tournament will be loaded with impressive performances by these shooters and clutch performances by other shooters who are likely to step up on the big stage. Will another No. 11 seed’s shooting performance lead them to the Final Four this year? The Noah Basketball team is ready to watch the talented shooters of 2019 as the madness of March prevails. Check our Arc Blog for more updates as we follow this year’s NCAA tournament.